Cardiovascular exercise is by far most effective when it is completed first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. At this point in the day, the body has utilized all available sugar and carbohydrate sources of energy, and it is forced to revert to using stored body fat for an energy source during the movement. At every other time of the day, it is the food in your body used as fuel. This special time in the morning is very valuable for your fat burning goals. Don’t spoil this primed environment by drinking juice or having a snack upon waking. Instead, opt for some water, Crystal Lite, or black coffee. Take your caffeine/ephedrine/aspirin stack, and get to work!
Right out the door
Jumping out of bed, putting on shoes, grabbing a water bottle, and heading out running is the preferred cardio technique of many boxers. They often select it for its machismo aspect. What they may not realize is that they are actually doing their physique a great service in terms of burning up body fat. Be sure to have your socks and shoes, mp3 player, and cell phone (for safety) sitting next to your bed before you head to sleep. Waking up and realizing you have to dig through the dirty laundry for a pair of socks is a really good way to frustrate yourself into going back to sleep!
Pedal to the morning news
Hop on a stationary bike and watch the morning news. Better yet, set up your laptop so that you are able to check your email and organize your day’s “to do” list as you pedal. The increased oxygen flow to your brain as a result of the cardiovascular exercise will help you to think more clearly.
If you stay up until 2 am, don’t expect to have a terrific workout at 6 am. Instead, go to bed early enough so that you will be able to enjoy 7 to 8 hours of sleep before the morning light arrives and forces you to exercise on your very empty stomach. You may have to make a series of sacrifices, which could include social life, family time, work time, or other things that are valuable to you. However, being fully rested will allow you to be more effective in all of these areas. Don’t skim by on 6 hours of sleep – Get the full eight every night!
Don’t spoil a morning of great cardio by succumbing to the temptation of a greasy breakfast – or worse – no breakfast at all. Your body just endured a tough routine on an empty stomach, and it is now screaming for a wealth of clean carbohydrate, protein and fat sources. Don’t let it down! Plan your breakfast (and all other meals) just as intently as you plan your cardio session. Eggs, oatmeal, fruit, and other healthy options should be chosen. Before you head to sleep, you should already know what you’re having for breakfast, and what time you will be having it.
Dane Fletcher is the world’s most prolific bodybuilding and fitness expert and is currently the executive editor for BodybuildingToday.com. If you are looking for more bodybuilding tips or information on weight training, or supplementation, please visit http://www.BodybuildingToday.com, the bodybuilding and fitness authority site with hundreds of articles available FREE to help you meet your goals.